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Hearns v. Nosan

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

April 29, 2015

JASON HEARNS, Petitioner,
v.
PATRICK A. NOSAN, et al., Respondents.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

JEROME B. SIMANDLE, Chief District Judge.

Petitioner is proceeding pro se with a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Docket Entry 1).

1. After pleading guilty to first-degree aggravated manslaughter, Petitioner was sentenced by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Atlantic County, Law Division on May 4, 2001 to thirty years imprisonment with an eighty-five percent term of parole ineligibility.

2. According to the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, "[a]t the time of the plea, neither counsel nor the court mentioned the statutorily mandated five-year term of parole supervision; it was not noted in the plea forms nor included in the judgment of conviction." State v. Hearns, 2014 WL 2117869, *1 (N.J.Super. A.D. May 22, 2014). on September 3, 2004 at a resentencing ordered by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. Ibid.

4. Petitioner again appealed his sentence to the Supreme Court of New Jersey, and another resentencing occurred in 2006, at which time Petitioner was again informed of the parole supervision term. Ibid.

5. The New Jersey Supreme Court finally denied certification in Petitioner's direct appeal on February 25, 2010. State v. Hearns, 989 A.2d 1266 (N.J. 2010).

6. Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief ("PCR") on May 28, 2010 alleging trial counsel was ineffective for failing to advise him of the five-year period of parole supervision. State v. Hearns, 2014 WL 2117869, *1 (N.J.Super. A.D. May 22, 2014).

7. After the petition was denied by the trial court, the Appellate Division remanded for "consideration of whether the delay between September 3, 2004, the date defendant first became aware of his parole supervision term, and May 28, 2010, the date he filed his PCR petition, is excusable." Ibid.

8. On remand, the trial court determined the PCR petition was untimely because more than five years had elapsed between the time Petitioner first learned of the parole supervision condition and the filing of his PCR application. See id. at *1-2; N.J. Ct. R. 3:22-12. The trial court determined Petitioner had not set forth a valid basis for excusable neglect, and noted the petition would have been denied on the merits as well. Id. at *1.

9. On appeal, the Appellate Division affirmed the findings that the PCR application was untimely under New Jersey law and that Petitioner had not set forth a prima facie case of ineffective assistance of counsel. Id. at *2-4.

10. The New Jersey Supreme Court denied certification on November 14, 2014. State v. Hearns, 103 A.3d 265 (N.J. 2014).

11. Petitioner filed this petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus on February 27, 2015, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. (Docket Entry 1).

12. Petitioner's habeas petition is governed by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA"). AEDPA imposes a one-year period of limitation on a petitioner seeking to challenge his state conviction and sentence through a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). Under § 2244(d)(1), the limitation period runs from the latest of:

(A) the date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the ...

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